Have you heard about Kodi and want to get in on the action of this popular streaming media player? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Installing Kodi on your Android device opens up a whole world of entertainment options. But getting it set up can be confusing if you’re not sure where to start.
In this detailed guide, I’ll show you step-by-step how to install Kodi on any Android phone, tablet, TV box, or other device. You’ll learn:
- The easy way to install from the Google Play Store
- How to sideload the Kodi APK file on any Android device
- Tips for updating Kodi to the latest version
- Where to find previous Kodi releases to download
- How to install helpful addons like The Crew and Venom
- Plus troubleshooting help for any issues
By the end, you’ll have Kodi working flawlessly on your Android gadgets. Time to turn them into the ultimate media machines!
Overview of Kodi for Android
First, what even is Kodi and what can you do with it? Kodi is an open-source home theater media center software. It’s completely free to use.
Kodi essentially transforms your Android device into a feature-packed media player. The Android version of Kodi includes:
- Streaming for movies, TV shows, live sports, music, podcasts, and more
- Support for playing local media files
- Organizing and managing your media libraries
- Useful tools for scraping metadata like episode info
- Hundreds of addons for expanding features and content
- Completely customizable via skins and themes
- Available for Android TV, smartphones, tablets, and more
Kodi began way back in 2002 as the Xbox Media Center. Since then it’s grown into a full home entertainment system usable on many platforms.
The most recent release as of 2022 is Kodi 19 Matrix. This guide will cover installing Kodi 19.4, which is the latest maintenance update.
I’ll also show how to get previous versions like Kodi 18 or 17. Usually it’s best to use the newest Kodi release for best compatibility with addons and features.
Now let’s look at how many devices run the Android OS to understand Kodi‘s market. According to StatCounter, Android has dominated mobile operating system market share worldwide since 2012. As of April 2022, Android holds over 71% of the mobile OS market.
With over 2 billion active Android users, that makes it the perfect operating system to develop for media player apps like Kodi. Next we‘ll compare the types of Android devices that support Kodi.
Android TV vs Stock Android
There are two main "flavors" of Android OS that matter when it comes to installing Kodi:
Android TV – This is an Android version optimized for TVs and set-top boxes like the NVIDIA Shield or Xiaomi Mi Box. It includes features like remote-friendly interface, home screen content rows, and Google Cast integration.
Stock Android – This is the regular open-source Android OS used on smartphones and tablets. Amazon Fire devices use a modified version of stock Android without Google services and apps.
The installation process differs slightly between Android TV and regular stock Android. I‘ll cover how to install Kodi on both types in this guide.
Now let‘s look at the different methods for getting Kodi up and running on your devices:
There are a couple ways you can install Kodi – each has its own pros and cons:
Google Play Store – For Android TV devices, installing Kodi from the Play Store is by far the easiest method. It‘s a few clicks and you‘re set.
Sideloading APK – This involves manually downloading the Kodi APK installer file and sideloading onto any Android device via USB or wirelessly. Sideloading works great if a device doesn‘t include the Play Store.
I‘ll explain how to use both options in detail below. First let‘s tackle installing Kodi on Android TV boxes using the simpler Play Store method.
Install Kodi on Android TV via Play Store
If you have an Android TV box like the NVIDIA SHIELD, Xiaomi Mi Box, or any other device running Android TV OS, you can easily install Kodi directly from the Google Play Store in minutes.
Here are the steps to install Kodi on Android TV using the Play Store:
Turn on your Android TV box and make sure it‘s connected to the internet either via WiFi or a wired ethernet connection.
Press the Home button on your remote and scroll down to the Apps row. Or find the Apps icon and open it.
This will bring up the Apps launcher screen. Scroll down and select the Google Play Store app.
In the Play Store, use the search bar at the top to search for "Kodi".
Select the "Kodi Media Center" app result. This is the official Kodi app.
Click the Install button to begin downloading Kodi.
The installation will only take a minute or two depending on your internet speed.
Once it finishes, you‘ll see an Open button – go ahead and click this to launch Kodi.
The first time you open Kodi it will require you to accept the end user license agreement. The Android TV remote is a bit awkward for navigating Kodi, so I recommend using the mobile app or wireless mouse/keyboard.
And that‘s all there is to it! With those simple steps you now have Kodi installed on your Android TV box ready to start streaming.
Next let‘s go over how to manually sideload Kodi on any Android device like phones, tablets, Amazon Firesticks, and more.
Sideload Kodi APK on Android TV, Phones, Tablets
Sideloading requires getting the Kodi APK file directly from the Kodi website rather than the Play Store. This enables installing Kodi on any Android device even without access to Google Play.
Here are the steps to sideload Kodi:
On your phone, tablet, or computer, visit kodi.tv/download. This is the official Kodi website.
Under Android, choose the correct APK download for your device‘s CPU architecture:
- ARM devices are 32-bit like older phones – use the "ARM" APK
- Newer 64-bit devices are ARM64 – use the "ARM 64-bit" APK
- If unsure, try the ARM APK first as most Android devices are 32-bit
Once downloaded, pull up your device‘s File Manager app and find the
Tap the APK file to begin the installation process.
You‘ll likely see a message that "For security, your phone is set to block installation of apps obtained from unknown sources". This means you need to enable sideloading on your device.
Go into Settings > Apps or Security and enable the "Unknown Sources" permission. This allows you to install apps outside of the Play Store.
Return to the Kodi APK file and complete the installation.
Kodi will now be available in your Apps library – launch it and agree to any prompts during the initial first-time setup.
And you‘re all set! Kodi should now be installed via sideloading the APK file. This works on any Android device even without Google Play access or a TV interface.
Next let‘s go over updating Kodi to never miss the new features and improvements with each release.
Updating Kodi to New Versions on Android
The Kodi team is always hard at work improving features and fixing bugs with new releases every few months. Here is how you can easily update when a new version of Kodi comes out:
Play Store Method
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android TV device
- Go to My Apps & Games > Installed apps > Kodi
- If an Update button is shown, tap it to download the latest Kodi version
- The app will automatically update itself to the newest release
- Visit kodi.tv/download to re-download the newest Android APK file
- Uninstall the current Kodi via Settings > Apps > Kodi > Uninstall
- Sideload the latest APK using the steps above
- Launch Kodi and you‘ll now be on the newest version!
Updating through the Play Store is easiest when available. But sideloading also works great for any Android device.
Both methods allow you to stay up to date with each new Kodi release. Sometimes major updates like Kodi 19 can present challenges for addons and skins. So occasionally you may want to install an older version which brings us to the next section.
How to Install Old Kodi Versions on Android
In some cases, you may want to install an older release of Kodi rather than the latest version. For example:
- You rely on a certain add-on that‘s broken in newer Kodi versions
- You prefer the interface design and features of an older version like Kodi 18 or 17
- You want to troubleshoot an issue by trying a previous Kodi release
- You just don‘t like the changes in the newest update!
Luckily, you can still install older Kodi releases by sideloading an older APK file:
Visit the Kodi Old Releases page.
Browse the list of previous versions – 17 Krypton and 18 Leia are popular older options.
Download the APK file that matches your device architecture (ARM vs ARM64).
Follow the sideloading instructions above to install the older APK file.
Once installed, you now have that Kodi version up and running for your needs!
So if you ever need an older Kodi release, just grab it from the Old Releases archive and sideload it.
Now let‘s move on to one of the best parts – installing useful Kodi addons!
Best Kodi Add-ons for Movies, TV, Sports, More
Once you have Kodi installed, the addons provide all of the streaming content and functionality. There are thousands of addons which can be hit or miss. Here are some of the best currently working addons:
- The Crew – Extremely popular for movies, TV shows, live sports – great quality streams
- The Oath – Reliable scraper for high-quality movie and TV streams
- Venom – Multi-source aggregator great for on-demand movies and shows
- Tempest – All-in-one addon for movies, shows, live TV, sports replays
- Sportowa TV – Huge array of live sports channels
- iPlayer WWW – Streams BBC television and radio content
I recommend installing at least 3-5 addons to give you plenty of options for finding content. Most Kodi addons pull streams from publicly available sources around the web.
Some great pre-configured builds like Misfit Mod Lite or Xenon Build come loaded with working addons if you want an easy setup.
For help installing and configuring addons plus recommendations, check out my top addons guide. Addons can break from time to time, so staying up to date is crucial.
Next up I‘ll answer some frequently asked questions about Kodi on Android.
Kodi on Android FAQ
Here are some common questions and answers about using Kodi on your Android phone, tablet, TV box, or other devices:
Is Kodi legal to use?
Kodi itself is perfectly legal open-source software. However, streaming copyright-protected content without permission could be illegal depending on your country‘s laws. Kodi has no control over the content of third-party addons.
Does Kodi work well on Android?
It works great! The Android version of Kodi is stable, frequently updated, and has tons of compatible addons. Given Android‘s massive user base, many addons are targeted at Android.
Can I get Kodi without the Play Store?
Yes! The sideloading method using the APK installer file allows installing Kodi even on devices without the Google Play Store. Many cheaper Android boxes sold on sites like Amazon lack the Play Store, so sideloading is the way to go.
What Android devices best run Kodi?
For Android TV boxes, the NVIDIA SHIELD is excellent for flawless 4K streaming with Kodi. The Xiaomi Mi Box S is a budget-friendly Android TV that still handles Kodi very well. For phones and tablets, any relatively modern device works. I‘d recommend at least 2GB of RAM and Android 6.0 or newer.
Is there an Android remote app for Kodi?
Yes! The official Kodi Remote app allows you to control your Kodi device from another phone or tablet on the same WiFi network. Many also recommend Yatse and Kore as great remote apps.
Can I use a wireless mouse with Android Kodi?
You absolutely can. A wireless mouse makes navigating Kodi much easier than the clunky remote on many Android TV devices. Any wireless Bluetooth mouse will work great. You can also use a physical keyboard for easier text entry when searching.
Hopefully this thorough guide has answered all your questions about installing Kodi on your Android gadgets! If you run into any issues or need help troubleshooting, feel free to reach out to me. Enjoy exploring everything Kodi has to offer on Android!